Words of Woofdom – Separation Anxiety
The research tells us that the rates of separation anxiety in dogs is 17%, with some studies stating it is as high as 40% of all behavioral cases, depending upon how it is measured and how severe it is. This is an alarming number. Separation anxiety and its accompanying behaviors, is one of the top reasons why people call on us.
Sometimes, the pet parents are not fully aware of what separation anxiety is, just that their canine seems to “misbehave” when they are away. The signs can be easy to miss since they usually happen only when you are not there. Many dogs with separation anxiety exhibit clear signs such as vocalizations (barking and whining), inappropriate elimination, and destructive behavior. However, some dogs do not immediately exhibit these behaviors but they are still anxious when their parents leave the home.
We recommend that pet parents video their dog up to and after their departure to see what he or she does after the door closes. Is your canine companion able to settle fairly quickly or is your dog is panting, pacing, whining, drooling, or exhibiting some of the behaviors listed above? Remember that some dogs are destructive because they are bored and not necessarily because they have separation anxiety. If you video your dog and are unsure what you are seeing, send us the video and we can evaluate it and make recommendations.
Remember that anxiety is a very uncomfortable state that is very treatable, especially when you catch it and treat it early. We have both professional and personal experience with separation anxiety and would be happy to assist if needed. We have had two dogs with severe separation anxiety and have successfully transitioned them into calm, confident canines.